Ms Francis, I have read your affidavit material and I understand the basis on which you are applying for an extension of time is that your printer broke down and that caused the delay of nine days.
I remember going to see Van She just after the release of V in 2008. Much like the subjects, I was going through the travails of late adolescence, and as such, like many of their contemporaries (Arctic Monkeys, Cut Copy, Friendly Fires) their songs about girls, sex and pills struck a definite resonance. As such they were popular amongst the hip late teens, and have garnered a pretty strong following since.
With word of an upcoming album the all important direction was a question that never seemed to be answered. It has been close to 4 years since the last release, so fan were quite in the dark to what direction the new recording would take.
Well it seems the innocent and probably hot Kelly, has grown in to Sarah, who’s 21 (21!), and still doesn’t seem to have a fucking clue what she’s doing.
And to be honest neither do Van She. Even though still hitting the heights with electrifyingly great gigs, the late post-punk sound of low-fi guitar and indie pop, has given way to way more pop and much less guitar on Idea of Happiness. In fact, the hook in Sarah sounds very much an M83 creation. Tears sounds straight out of the Friendly Fires copybook.
Even though the album is an easy listen I was left a little disappointed given the potential garnered by the big hit Idea of Happiness. The strengths of tracks like We Move On is let down by the sheer unoriginality of the majority. Buy it to support good Australian musicians, but don’t expect groundbreaking things.
Unless there’s a dramatic change of rhetoric in the coming days, the poisonous asylum seeker debate will continue.
From my point of view there are three distinct issues that, for reasons unbeknownst to me, are bundled into one, long, dumb discussion.
Perhaps it’s for the simple minds of the electorate? Ghastly! You elitist pig! How dare you say that!
I push on.
These issues are:
1. Dealing with the illegal market for displaced persons.
2. Asylum seeker processing.
3. Immigration and security.
I’ll deal with the third one summarily. The fact that a discussion around asylum-seekers has ANYTHING to do with security is laughable. It’s racist. It’s for ignorant voters who before proliferating their opinion, need to read. It deserves little more attention than that.
Unfortunately the first two issues have been meshed into one:
-“Alright guys, we have people dying trying to get here on rickety boats. Criminals are making money off them. But we have an international legal obligation to take care of them. What do we do?”
-“Let’s go after the people on the rickety boats.”
-“Make it harder to get here, and process them away from Australia!”
-“So what you’re saying is we will seize the cargo and ship it to another place and whilst it’s there it gets turned from illegal to legal! Wow! Get Nauru on the phone Keith!”.
-“More than likely they’ll all be legal anyway, so it’s a win win. We remove the direct route thus reducing attempts and possible deaths, taking away the trade. We also give asylum seekers a potential home. Aaaaaand we get votes in Cranbourne!”
-“Fuck yeah Gary, you’re a sick cunt! Keith get me Nauru!”
Problem solved? If this was our customs policy, heaven forbid any music festival ever.
The thinking is an introverted, selfish play for votes. The audacious notion that OUR domestic policies have an effect on an illegal trade is both short sighted and ignorant. The “Pull Factors” have been numerically destroyed. These types of policies have NO effect as a deterrent. It is time to accept that “Push Factors” are THE reason why people seek asylum. The issues therefore cannot be meshed, and have to be dealt with separately, consistent with Australia’s international legal obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Therefore here is my proposal.
1. If Australia was deadly serious about stopping the human trade from making money, going after the cargo is futile. Engage with the perpetrators directly. It may be difficult to set up multilateral agreements to investigate these criminals, yet it is a more humane option than the disgraceful treatment handed out to people literally sailing to their last resort.
Take advantage of the somewhat cosy relationship we share with Indonesian President Susilo Bangbang Yudhoyono, before his successors, those not entirely fond of us, take over. It will be difficult, it may even be an absolute waste of time. But I’m sure it’s not too much for me to ask Canberra to cease perpetuating myth and start earning their (MY) money. Their job is to make turn these ideas into a practical reality in a cost-effective method. Try it.
2. According the UNHCR data that was taken at the end of 2010, Australia had 3,760 asylum-seeker cases pending. Austria had 25,625. Canada had 51,025. Of these, a smaller percentage arrive here by boat illegally. For those who control the debate to paint this as a desperate issue needing fast attention is far from the truth. Allow them to be processed onshore and take a humane approach to a subset of people who have escaped situations that we cannot imagine. The fact that they’ve risked the voyage is testament to that. Stop treating them like cattle and let them in. I cannot put it better than that.
I’m not sure if what I’m saying is unpopular, or even too simplistic. But from my point of view, the issue is non-existant. Yet it dominates our discourse partly because of the 24-hour news cycle, partly because we have apparatchiks clinging to every vote in marginal electorates. I don’t understand what the issue actually is. Would someone care to enlighten?
I think the reason why twentysomethings are so fixated on age is because we feel a pressure to be a certain way at 23, at 25, at 29. There are all of these invisible deadlines with our careers and with love and drinking and drugs. I can’t do coke at 25. I need to be in a LTR at 27. I can’t vomit from drinking at 26. I just can’t! We feel so much guilt for essentially acting our age and making mistakes. We’re obsessed with this idea of being domesticated and having our shit together. It’s kind of sad actually because I don’t think we ever fully get a chance to enjoy our youth. We’re so concerned about doing things “the right way” that we lose any sense of pleasure in doing things the wrong way. Youth may be truly wasted on the young.